I have a close friend, one of my best friends, who is not communicating right now.  Have you ever experienced this? Someone who you love, going through something in his or her life and doing so in a private way.

I have tried to communicate with her in every way possible, but my friend clearly wants to be alone. And so I have taken my own advice (isn’t it great when you have to follow your own lectures?!) and decided to simply sit in the experience of the situation. For days now I have made myself sit down, meditate, and experience all aspects of this experience.

It’s been interesting to observe the emotions this has provoked in me:

Fear – does she still love me?

Worry – is she okay?

Sadness – why is she suffering?

Self-righteousness – why is she making me suffer?

I’ve found it impossible to clear my mind of thoughts of my friend. It just doesn’t work. The more I try to focus on not thinking of her, the more the thoughts come … the worry, the fear, and the concern flow in and swirl around the corners of my mind like the water in a toilet bowl, only they don’t flush out, the thoughts just keep spinning around and around and around.

And this has made me re-evaluate some of the advice I have been given about meditation. You know the kind – “empty your mind, sit in stillness, let the thoughts go.” All the sage advice that the experts give us as to what the experience of mediation is meant to be. Only sometimes it’s just not that.

...And I Breathed

In this case I can’t make the thoughts of a dear friend’s struggle leave my mind—and the truth is I don’t really want to. Care and compassion for my friends is a part of who I am, it’s part of my experience in this lifetime. This morning I had a particularly “interesting” meditation. On top of all of the feelings I have about my friend, I was fighting with myself to be peaceful … how ironic right? This led me to a realization about my meditation practice, why I do it, and what my goal is.

For me, #meditation isn’t about emptying my mind; it’s about filling my #heart.

I’ve realized that for me, meditation isn’t about emptying my mind; it’s about filling my heart. All of the thoughts spinning in my head are part of me, part of my experience as a human. Thinking they should stop only adds more negative thoughts to the pot … and more judgment of myself. And that’s counterproductive because I meditate to experience peace and love. From that realization, all there is to do is relax and love myself.

And with that, I put down my computer, close my eyes, straighten my spine, and quietly begin a loving, kindness meditation for my friend and myself … “May we have peace, may we have love, may we be understood …”

Big hugs of love,


  1. Jason, this is so interesting. For years, as a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, I would occasionally struggle with repetitive thoughts of why? What? How? That person loves me, yet I don’t really feel it. Why Am I angry? I started my yoga practice 25 yrs after I started my TM practice. Something about being told that I could acknowledge my emotions, see them, experience them and then let them go through me, come back, let them go when they need to leave, hearing THAT made me realize that sometimes within meditation practice, we don’t want to let go. And that.Is. OK. You said this very well. Thank you for writing this blog post.

  2. Sounds like me .. that’s why I am writing a book.
    Maya and Oprah help me speak of my life thing’s that happen to me seem like no one gave a plunk . I hold them both up because they saved me from destroy my life it was killing my. I had no understanding why people do the things the due until I tune to watch Oprah speak of it my heart cave in to know of understanding was all within.
    They saved me from no understanding from other’s around they help heal my broken heart when no one could be found.

    I love these ladies they’ll never know me because I live in a box in its killing me.

  3. Thank you Jason. Ironically I am experiencing the identical circumstance.
    It is so gratifying to know that this thought cycle is something experienced by others as I find it distracting and filled with anguish.
    In meditation I go out to see myself. I have never stayed in and sat in it to just experience the feeling.

  4. I always just pray for God to deal with that loved one cause I can’t nor do I know how. I let God and I get out of the way.

  5. Jason, that is a beautiful post today. It sheds new light on meditation that we can all use. Just now coming out of a tuck-in and hibernation journey of my own, so I know your friend will surface when ready and be ever so grateful that you waited quietly, giving her the gift of silence and understanding. Love, and then more, yvonne

  6. I am the friend that has blocked others out while going through a very difficult time in my life. What I needed most at that time was to know that the important people where there for me even though I couldn’t reciprocate at the time. A voicemail saying they were thinking about me. A inspirational text. A thoughtful card in the mail. I prayed they understood and there’s nothing more special than knowing someone is there for you and expects nothing in return.

  7. Yes this describes me. Sometimes people have to work through things alone. For me, I get more clarity when I shut down. I can hear my spirit better without the noise. It tells and shows me all types of things. Sometimes it comes after a series of things that have happened that just wears me out and then I just can’t do anymore but shut down. It’s never personal or about anyone else. A true and real friend understands this and prays for you.

  8. I think it describes myself at times too. I just completely shut down, especially in times of sadness. I internalize it. I love this passage….i agree. May we all have more peace, love and kindness 🙂

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